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(en) Ireland, WSM* Greetings to Independent Workers Union conference

Date Mon, 10 Apr 2006 13:40:09 +0300

The 3rd conference of the Indepedent Workers Union took place in Dublin this Saturday. The
Workers Solidarity Movement extended our solidarity and ongoing support for the work of the IWU.
Unity is strength
On the occasion of the Independent Workers Union’s 3rd Annual Conference, the Workers
Solidarity Movement extends our solidarity and ongoing support for the work of the IWU.
Over the course of the past 3 years the IWU has firmly established itself as a force
to be reckoned with. By standing firmly in the anti-partnership camp and by refusing
to be part of the cosy consensus through which government has strangled much of the
life out of the mainstream trade union movement, the IWU has done much to re-kindle
the spirit of real trade unionism.

The displacement of jobs and the ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of employment standards
has emerged as a huge challenge for the trade union movement over the past 12 months.
Irish Ferries, GAMA, ESB, Spencer Dock have merely been the most prominent of these.
Anecdotal evidence and the experience of IWU activists shows that super-exploitation
is taking place all over the economy – and especially in the construction industry,
and in the retail and catering sectors.

The response of the official trade union movement has been pathetic. Calls for the
government to appoint more labour inspectors and for so-called social partnership
to agree measures to ‘protect labour standards’ are worse than useless. The state
will always serve the interests of capital, the only way in which workers’ rights
and labour standards can ever be protected is by trade unions recruiting all workers
into our ranks and by fighting aggressively to defend and protect employment standards.

The Independent Workers Union can be a leading force in this battle. The challenge
facing us is to organise the unorganised, and to stand firmly shoulder to shoulder
with all workers – Irish and immigrant – against exploitation.

A strong base has been laid over the past couple of years. As we move forward, the IWU
can become a beacon of hope for the working class – an independent, fighting democratic
union which is not afraid to stand proudly on the side of the exploited.

Issued by members of the Workers Solidarity Movement active in the IWU in Cork and Dublin
* Anarchist federation.
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